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#SriLankaDollarChallenge – Expats Hope To Revive The Economy, One Dollar At A Time

#SriLankaDollarChallenge – Expats Hope To Revive The Economy, One Dollar At A Time

Sri Lanka is going through its worst phase, an unprecedented economic turmoil that has sparked nationwide protests. While President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country and a new appointment for the position is in order, it is the country’s citizens settled abroad, who have taken the initiative to revive their faltered economy. Sri Lankan ex-pats have launched the #SriLankaDollarChallenge, wherein they are sending dollars back home as a way to help the economy with inward remittances.

This trend started by Sri Lankans who settled abroad is going viral in an effort to help their homeland. While we have seen Sri Lanka for its pristine beaches and paradise pictures enough, it feels good to see ex-pats trying their best to help the country when it needs them the most.

Twitter is seeing multiple tweets of users taking the #SriLankaDollarChallenge, with attached proofs of their transfer transactions. Images of deposit slips with appeals to send dollars to the country have also taken over Facebook. The idea is to take the challenge and then tag a few others to participate. Ever since Rajapaksa’s ousting over $30,000 have been sent by Sri Lankan ex-pats.

Acknowledging these efforts, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has recommended that all ex-pats send this money only through lawful banking channels. Not too long ago, the Central Bank governor had appealed to Sri Lankans residing abroad to donate foreign exchange. Following the resignation of Rajapaksa, the appeal is now being answered through a viral trend, a faster way of getting things in order and heard on social media.

Sri Lanka used to get over $500 million of remittances until the last two years and it hit a record low of 10 years at $5.49 billion in 2021. Workers’ remittances are the major source of foreign exchange in the country. If with the ongoing challenge, the remittance makes the 500-600 million mark, it can greatly help avert the crisis. If the support continues and the amount goes on to 1000 million within the next few months, it would be equivalent to getting a support package from the IMF.

Social media is seeing appeals of fellow ex-pats asking people to transfer dollars to help their parents and relatives back home, who are struggling to buy basics like food, medicines, and other daily essentials. It remains to be seen if #SriLankaDollarChallenge really does make a difference, even if it is one dollar at a time.

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